Home > My Fiction, Star Trek > Oh yeah, that Shore Leave thing…

Oh yeah, that Shore Leave thing…

Sorry, I forgot to post yesterday to say I arrived intact at Shore Leave.  It was a pretty uneventful drive, except for the few minutes of blinding rain on Friday morning.  And that time Thursday evening when I tried to see whether I could go up hills better in low gear than in drive, and learned it’s probably not a good idea to shift into first while travelling at 65 mph.  Lucky the driver behind me was alert.

So anyway,  I waited at home until about 1:30 Thursday, then called the computer place and learned the laptop battery hadn’t come in.  Since I was almost entirely packed and ready, I left as soon as possible thereafter, and was on the highway by a bit after 1:50.  It was just about seven hours later that I decided it was getting too twilit and foggy to make it to the next exit that had motels (at least, ones listed in the coupon books you can find at rest areas) and stopped for the night in Somerset, PA.  I didn’t get enough sleep, but I was alert enough (with help from a chocolate donut from what passed for the motel’s “continental breakfast” and some iced tea from a service plaza a bit further on) to make it the remaining three and two-thirds hours to Hunt Valley.

I had a good idea.  I prefer to drink filtered water, which I can’t be sure of getting on a trip, so in addition to my usual metal bottle full of ice water, I also filled up my 2-quart plastic bottle and stored it in the freezer the night before I left, then wrapped it in a towel and put it under a heavy blanket in the back seat.  Once my smaller bottle ran out, I was able to refill it from the big bottle as the ice melted.  By Friday night, I still had a respectable chunk of ice in there, and it survived overnight in the motel room’s mini-fridge.  When I got to the Shore Leave hotel, I still had a big chunk of ice in the pitcher, but I realized belatedly that this hotel doesn’t have mini-fridges in the rooms for some reason.  So I just wrapped the ice bottle in the towel and stuck it in the ice bucket in the cabinet.  (Both the ice machines on this floor were out of ice, so I got no help there.)  Actually I should’ve insulated it less, because I reached the point where I was out of water in my metal bottle and the ice remaining in the big bottle was in too big a chunk to fit into the little one.  So I had to refill the little bottle with water from one of the water coolers sitting around for the convention.  And as of this morning, the ice chunk is completely melted.  Oh, well.  It was good while it lasted.

Haven’t done much conventioneering yet.  Most of the folks I know were busy elsewhere when I wandered the floor, though I had a good talk with Voyager novelist Kirsten Beyer.  The big event was the Meet the Pros signing party last night, and I got to see most of the gang and talk with a bunch of them, mostly my Mere Anarchy colleagues Dave Galanter and Mike W. Barr, and also my Only Superhuman editors Greg Cox and Marco Palmieri.  It was cool to be able to talk to Greg about the book in person (although he talks really fast…).  It’s heartening to hear someone who isn’t me talk about it with such enthusiasm.

Right now, I’m finishing up my blueberry pancakes and banana smoothie from room service, plus tea from the room’s coffee maker.  Pretty nice, though a bit rich; I knew there was a reason I usually stuck to the light menu.  Oh, well, I wanted a change of pace.

My big event today, indeed my only scheduled event today, is my solo panel at 4 PM, to be moderated by Star Trek Magazine editor Paul Simpson (whom I finally met in person yesterday).  I’ll be talking about my upcoming Trek projects Typhon Pact: The Struggle Within and the TOS/DTI novel Forgotten History, and particularly about Only Superhuman, which I’m sure I’ll go on about in detail, complete with visual aids.  I hope to see a lot of people there, though I’m apparently competing with a Tricia Helfer panel, so I’m not holding my breath.

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